A bit of history

One of the unusual things about a congregation like ours is that despite worshiping in a modern building dating from the 60’s, our congregation actually dates back into the 1770’s.

Set back from the road, a number of people don’t realise, we have have a cemetery. It’s on that site that the original building stood.

In this atmospheric photo of the oldest part of the plot, taken a couple of years ago, you can see the tomb of George Batchelor on the left, who was the founder member. There are numerous publications on the history of the Church here, and the area which has a significant non-conformist heritage.

Numbers of people come by each year to trace ancestors for family trees. The place is a tranquil spot, and there are many interesting inscriptions on the stones.

Visitors are asked to remember of course that the cemetery is still in use, and is special place.

Wiltshire County Council has quite a good page on their history site about us. Also, there is the main resource book for history of the Baptists in this area called ‘Twenty Golden Candlesticks’, by William Doel. As the book only went up to the late 1800’s, Andrew Jones, a deacon at Zion Baptist Church in Trowbridge wrote a sequel ‘Twenty Golden Candlesticks revisited’ bringing the story up to date. Ben was very honoured to be asked to write the forward to that book.

Sunday 22nd April

The morning service focused on the importance of both diversity and unity. Gospel unity, and personal diversity.

Reading from the book of Joshua, chapter 1 we saw how God promised to be  as much with Moses and He was with Joshua. The disciples of Jesus hundreds of years later had the same promise, as do we. Even though we are all different, we can all know God.

The younger children looked at this further from 1st Corinthians 12.12 and Paul’s image of the Church as a body, made up of different parts. The rest of us began looking at Acts 13.1-3, focusing on vs 1, seeing how diverse the leadership team at Antioch was, yet how effective.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean suppressing your personality, on the contrary, it is crucial to the overall vividness of the witness of the Church to the unique person of God’s Son.

Click on the following link to hear the morning’s messages: Leaders.

In the evening service we looked into Exodus 20:18-26, the post-script to the ten commandments. In those lines we saw, if you will, an eleventh and most precious commandment – to build an Altar, a place of sacrifice, a place of worship, a place of blessing, and meeting with God.

Through this we considered how unable we are to give God the perfect obedience the ten commandments deserve, but that through the eleventh – sacrifice, and ultimately and gloriously the sacrifice Jesus, God’s Son, we can know fellowship and acceptance from God.

You can listen to the evening message here – Sacrifice.